Fontes Pereira de Melo was instrumental in the modernisation of Portugal in the 19th century, stimulating, during his time in office, construction, communications and the economy. His actions, as Minister of Public Works, Trade and Industry, are to thank for kilometres of roads and railways, bridges, shipping routes, the introduction of the electrical telegraph and the creation of industrial and agricultural education. His efforts were immortalised by the name of Fontismo. He died aged 67 in Lisbon, the same city where he was born, in 1819. Gago Coutinho was a naval officer and man of science who made aviation history by developing innovative navigation methods and leading, with Sacadura Cabral, the first flight over the South Atlantic. He revolutionised air navigation by designing a sextant with an artificial horizon, which he called the “precision astrolabe”. He was born in Lisbon in 1869 and died in the same city, a day after completing 90 years. He was promoted to Admiral in 1958. He dedicated the last stages of his life to the historiography of the Portuguese discoveries.

Born in São Jorge, in the Azores, Francisco de Lacerda was a composer, conductor and musicologist who gained recognition in the artistic milieu of his time. He was born in 1869 and began to play piano at four years old. He concluded his studies at the Lisbon Conservatory, later travelling to Paris on a scholarship. His talent catapulted him in the direction of great orchestras and prestigious events in Europe. He participated in the Paris World Exhibition and published the Cancioneiro Musical Português [Portuguese Musical Songbook]. On his return to the Azores, he dedicated himself to composition. He would go abroad again and return to Lisbon, where he died aged 65.

Nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1981, Fernando Namorais one of the most translated authors of the 20th century. Born in Condeixa-a-Nova in 1919, he studied medicine in Coimbra, a profession he practised his whole life, in rural and urban environments. Retalhos da Vida de um Médico [Fragments of a Doctor’s Life] and O Trigo e o Joio [The Wheat and the Tares] are his two most popular novels, both adapted to the movies. He belonged to the Generation of the 1940s and participated in the Novo Cancioneiro [New Songbook]. Conscious of human dramas, his work was characterised by psychological analysis and poetic language, oscillating between neorealism and a certain existentialism. He died in Lisbon in 1989.

Jorge de Sena, a prominent intellectual of the 20th century, was born in Lisbon in 1919. He studied civil engineering, but proved himself as a poet, author, critic, essayist, historian and translator. While in exile in Brazil, he dedicated himself to teaching literature. His bibliography encompasses more than 20 collections of poetry, the novel Sinais de Fogo [Signs of Fire] and approximately 40 volumes of critiques and essays. An opponent of the Estado Novo, he pursued intense cultural and civic activities in the United States. He taught in Wisconsin and Santa Barbara, where he died in 1978.

Born in Porto in 1919, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen is a major name in Portuguese poetry, whose voice also stood out in the elders of politics. She studied classical philology in Lisbon, where she lived for her whole life of 84 years. Many distinctions celebrate her brilliant writing, including the Camões Prize and the Queen Sophia Prize for Ibero-American Poetry. She had five sons, inspiration for her first children’s stories, such as A Menina do Mar [The Sea Girl] and A Fada Oriana [The Fairy Oriana]. Her work encompasses poetry, fiction, essays and theatre. She was also a distinguished translator of Euripedes, Shakespeare, Claudel and Dante.

Intellectual vigour and civic intervention made the historian and essayist Joel Serrão a leading figure in the renewal of Portuguese historiography. Born in 1919 in Madeira, in Santo António do Funchal, he lived to be 88 years old. He studied History and Philosophical Sciences in Lisbon, was a secondary school teacher and university professor, and served on the executive board of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He studied fundamental personalities in the evolution of culture and ideas, such as Cesário Verde and António Sérgio. His famous Dicionário de História de Portugal [Dictionary of the History of Portugal] was written over the course of 10 years. (Maria do Céu Novais)

Issue Date: 19.02.2019, Designer: Atelier Design&etc / Hélder Soares, Printer: BPOST, Process: Offset, Size: 40 x 30,6 mm, Values: 7 x €0.53

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